When I was born there was a terrible sadness upon the earth.
People had forgotten how to spell baby carriage and all of the
newborn infants had to find their own way around with the aid of
radar. In my case, since I was blind, sonar. I attended a special
clinic called The Air Dolphin Brigade. Our head mistress kept
telling us that we would soon be able to swim through the air,
that we were, in fact, a new stage in the development of human
evolution. We were the vanguard of a new kind of being, she
said, in that queer kind of a voice that comes from someone who
is deaf and dumb but has learnt to speak, before long we would
be able to see by thinking.
That was all a long time ago and, as with most prophesies, hers
have only partly come true or come true in ways that she never
expected. I have learnt to fly, but not to see, so I feel my way
through and by things and, as a consequence, have developed a
fairly tough skin. But perhaps I’m being too literal, perhaps
that’s not fair, Mrs Fairchild did say “see by thinking”.
Regrettably I do not believe my thinking has advanced so very
far. It would not be misleading, however, to say that
occasionally I do get a glimpse of the vast make-up of things.
For this reason, accept me as your storyteller, and I will be
your guide. In a landscape where there is no light, I may be
of some assistance.
You have now entered such a landscape. The morality here
is neither upright nor inverted, whole nor smashed, but
piecemeal, haphazard, evolving. The game, the fate, the
intention, the action, the memory, the present, the desire, the
building, the destroying, the ignoring, and the cohabiting, all
play their part in the final outcome, which is never final, but
only another opportunity for the game, the fate, the intention,
the action, the memory, the present, the desire, the building,
the destroying, the ignoring, and the cohabiting. I do not
mean it is cyclical. Nothing is repeated, except the
opportunity for everything and nothing to repeat. You have
finally reached the present moment, the moment of choice,
which is heavily laden with the past and the future, in a
constantly evolving relationship with the past and the future.
And you are asked to act, as if everything hangs upon the
consequences of your action, which it does, and yet with the
knowledge that the consequences will never be entirely clear,
neither in the next instant nor at a much later moment, both
of which times other decisions will be required of you.
And that is why I am your guide, and that is why I and my
compatriots were blinded at birth. To see if we would
develop a second sight with our inner eye. To see if we
would develop a better way of seeing, or feeling, our way
through. To find out if we could in some way perceive the
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, those who put out our
eyes and formed The Air Dolphin Brigade were all put to
death for their scientific crimes against humanity.
Apparently they never saw the full consequences of their
actions so they will never see the full consequences of their
actions. I am not sorry for them, though from time to time I
miss Mrs Fairchild, who was amongst those summarily
executed. She was herself the victim of a scientific
experiment with the previous generation and then a
childhood of brain washing, or brain training as it used to be
called. Perhaps she is swimming now through a more
ethereal atmosphere of air than the one found here, on God’s
green and pleasant earth.
© Richard James Allen